While at church Jessica and Taylor sat in the corner watching some of the girls in their singles class: “Have you seen what they’re wearing today?” Taylor asked with a turned up nose. “Laura Ingalls Wilder called and wants her clothes back,” Jessica mockingly retorted. Taylor laughed quietly before giving a sweet as candy smile at the girls across the room.
Haley was a fun, outgoing, and spontaneous girl with a heart growing in the Lord. She was not your “normal” Christian girl and she was made aware of that fact by other “normal” Christian girls: ”That’s an interesting top. I’m not sure I would be able to wear something like that”… “So you decided to cut your hair that way? Huh…” Everything they said dripped with judgment and condescension. They just assumed that because she dressed differently and had a big personality that she was ungodly and rebellious.
Jackie examined her new co-worker, Holly. She was confident, assertive, intelligent, and friendly….everything Jackie didn’t want in a co-worker. Jackie was the intelligent, go-to woman in the office. Jackie was the confident and friendly one in the office. Now she had some competition and she did NOT like it. Jackie knew Holly was also the only other Christian in their office, but sister in Christ or not she did not want to be friends.
You would think these stories were scenes from “Mean Girls” or a chick-flick about college girls with rival sororities, but these are real stories about real Christian girls. This is what sisters in Christ act like, and unfortunately, it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the world.
ABC has a new show coming out, Good Christian Belles, the story of old high schoolmates who are now gossip-spilling, insult-slinging, jealousy-breeding, church-going women. It’s the “Desperate Housewives” version of “Christian” women: both centered around drama, jealousy, and rivalry. Christian women were displayed in the same way as unbelieving women.
But, why? Why does the world only see judgment, jealousy, and competition? Why do they not see a united, loving, supportive sisterhood? Why have we become “Christian Mean Girls?”
1. We’ve Become Like the World, Not the Lord
GCB portrayed Christian women as “mean girls” because we’re acting like “mean girls.” When you feel jealousy or competitive with another sister in Christ you’ve chosen to ignore the Spirit and embrace the flesh. (1 Cor. 3:3)
“The minute we are envious and jealous of another, we have banished God from our minds.” R.C. Sproul
When we have these thoughts, actions, and feelings, we act like people who don’t know Christ, we act as if we’re enemies of God. There is no room among the body of Christ for works of the flesh. (Rom. 13:13; Gal.5:19-21) There can be nothing of the Spirit, nothing godly where there is also jealousy, rivalry, and, judgment. there can only be disunity, disorder, and discord. (Jam.3:14-16)
Are you letting your fellow sister know that her shorts are “above the knee” or her movies are “not your taste” because you actually care about her or so that it will make her feel bad and make you feel better about how “godly” you really are?
We’ve forgotten grace and embraced judgment. We’ve thrown away love and desired contention. We’ve forgotten that we are all sinners, all bought with the same blood of Jesus Christ, all saved from lives of darkness; we are all one family striving for Christ to be proclaimed….or at least we should be.
2. We’ve Become Rivals, Instead of Family
“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:2-4
God designed the body of Christ to function as a family, as one unit working together in harmony, in love, and in unity. He designed it as a blessing so we can be surrounded by brothers and sisters who can encourage, lift up, and help bear each others burdens. Sisters in Christ are meant to be a blessing to each other, not constant competition.
Does talking behind your sister in Christ’s back help her or you in any way at all? Does your judging and ostracizing a sister help bring unity in the body?
Instead of finding encouragement, fellowship, and love within the sisterhood of Christ, we’ve chosen isolation, ridicule, and hostility within our sisterly community.
Instead of keeping our eyes focused on the real, eternal prize, we’ve become fixated on earthly prizes. Anytime another godly girl gets attention from or finds a godly man, other girls have a comment, a huff of jealousy in their hearts, or a “why not me?” attitude of dissatisfaction. If a sister has been blessed in ministry or in life, why do we experience jealousy and feel we deserved it more than her? Why aren’t we happy that she has been blessed by the Lord? Why don’t we find contentment and satisfaction in the individual blessings and paths the Lord has for us?
One sister’s path is no better than another but all paths lead to God’s glory and that fact should prompt us to rejoice! We shouldn’t covet another sister’s path but instead love her and find joy that Christ is being proclaimed! (Phil.1:15-18)
We are FAMILY, not rivals for God’s blessings and purposes. We should all be striving for the same purpose, the same goal, which is God’s glory being proclaimed to the world.
4. We’ve Forgotten That We’re Sisters
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly(sisterly) love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Pet. 3:8
So how do we fight the flesh and act as sisters redeemed by Christ? By striving to live in the Spirit, producing unity, joy, peace, patience, kindness and love among us! (Gal. 5:19-23)
If you think a sister is not walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel don’t assume and make a judgment but lovingly go and talk with her and give her grace. If you find yourself becoming jealous of a Christian ‘sis,’ rejoice in the ways Christ is being proclaimed through her life.
We have all been bought with a price, all been redeemed and called to proclaim a perfect, wonderful Savior to a lost world. The stakes are too high for us to be walking in the flesh and living like “mean girls.”
We must be eager to walk in a God-glorifying manner that reflects the beauty of Christ. We must portray His beauty which can only be seen through humility, unity, peace, and bearing with our sisters in love! (Ps.133:1; Eph. 4:1-7)
Whether you’re the “mean girl” or the victim of the “mean girls,” keep constantly inspecting your heart to make sure that you keep loving, keep forgiving, and keep the unity within the family of God.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Eph.4:1-3
Good article, Diane.
You may know this, but other readers may not: What you’ve described is bullying. It’s how girls emotionally beat down other girls when they feel threatened.
Thank you for shedding spiritual light on the problem. I would encourage your readers to stand up for the bullied person whenever they see this going on. Don’t do it and don’t participate in it when you see or hear it. Considerately but firmly confront the person doing the bullying. That’s the only way bullying is stopped – when a “strong” person defends the “weak” person.
You have given all of us reason to search our own hearts. May the Lord call this to our memory if we’re ever tempted to treat anyone condescending or contemptously and may we not give in to the flesh.
Thanks again for the article~
Pingback: Why Are There “Christian Mean Girls”? | Unlocking Femininity - Home School Aggregator- Visit the original site by following the link
Pingback: Why Are There “Christian Mean Girls”? | Unlocking Femininity | Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Great Article my daughter is an adult leader (she is 19) of a high school bible study group. When she was in a high school group herself she saw these types of behaviors of how there were clicks and sometimes the way the girls treated each other.
Recently a girl who attended the same bible study group that my daughter went to committed suicide she was only 18 and just graduated from high school. I ask myself how did this happened she went to church, she went to bible study but her soul was never reached. These girls do not realize how much pain they are causing when they are mean and like Renee stated its an emotional beat down. I wanted to thank you for writing this article and bringing this into the light. I am continuing to pray for our youth.
I am always at the totem pole of a mean girl ambush. Why do it in the house of Our Lord? and why not include EVERYONE gosh it’s seemed alot of this girl on girl social crimes were easier in my 20’s…..Very horrible cycle people. horrible.
I am very sad to say, the most relationally aggressive women I run into are supposed ‘Christians.” I’ve ended a very long friendship with a Christian woman because, as a secular, I find we are unequally yoked. She is mean and relationally aggressive and I am not. She always has been, but I know Preacher’s kids are considered perfect even though I was the one who told her to use birth control with her boyfriend when she was 14 or 15 and came to know her high school beau, assuming, of course, they’d get married. Retrospectively, I should have let her get knocked up, maybe now she would have some humility. I don’t have a religion to hide behind, but the majority of truly mean women and girls I’ve met during my almost 50 years of lifetime have been religiously affiliated. Whatever parents are doing to their girls to make them so mean has to stop.